The 2018 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series season will get underway at Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona 500, and drivers are eager to see how the new pit road rule changes will play out.
A week prior to the Daytona 500, drivers and their teams will have a chance to iron out the details of the changes during Daytona Speedweeks beginning Feb. 10, according to NBC Sports.
The new rules include only allowing five men over the wall, in the past teams were allowed six, as well as using standardized pit guns for performing maintenance.
Since the announcement of the changes, drivers have voiced their displeasure of the new rules for pit road. The drivers are worried about the new rules slowing down pit stops, but by how much is still unknown. As is with any change, the teams will adapt and do what works best for them.
“Between the two changes, I think you will see us where last year a good pit stop was something in the 10-second range, a good pit stop this coming year will probably be in the 12-second range,” Brad Keselowski said.
“Until you get to Daytona and do your first live pit stop we’re all just guessing,” Front Row Motorsports driver Michael McDowell said. “We’re running through strategies at the shop, running through different scenarios. Somebody is going to do something different at Daytona and it’s going to be a little bit faster and teams are going to catch on. You’re just hoping you’re the one that sets the pace.”
It will be interesting to see how teams handle their pit stops. It’s unknown if each tire changer will carry a tire, or if that will fall to the jackman?
“Now more than ever, it’s going to be important how I get into the box,” Austin Dillon said in an interview with NBC Sports. “The front changer is going to set his tone off of where I stop because he’s carrying his own tire.”
They are entering uncharted territory, so at least they’re all competing on a level playing field, which is what NASCAR wanted to get out of the change anyways. Well, that and lowering costs.